2015 Jaguar XF R-Sport Black
With the expected arrival of the new XF at the New York International Auto Show in April 2015, Jaguar is throwing a few extra odds and ends at the current range of vehicles, creating a new derivative labeled the XF R-Sport Black in the process. The British automaker wants you think you’re getting excellent value for your money, stating the R-Sport Black “offers an additional £8,770 ($13,322 as of 1/22/2015) worth of value over standard R-Sport models for just a £2,100 ($3,190) increase to its On-the-Road price.” However, is it really worth ignoring the new XF to spend more on a soon-to-be outdated vehicle packing a bit more standard equipment?
Creating specialized, last-minute spinoffs of a model slated for the dustbin is standard operating procedure in the car world, and given the XF’s popularity over the last year, the announcement of the R-Sport Black shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
In addition to the new variant, Jaguar is also adding new specifications to the Luxury, R-Sport, Portfolio, Diesel S Portfolio, XFR, and XFR-S models, with some even gaining slight price hikes as a result (including the R-Sport). Clearly, JLR is confident that interest in the XF line will stay strong. In fact, the XF recorded its best year of sales in 2014, which makes the new R-Sport Black a likely candidate for success.
The R-Sport Black is available in either a saloon four-door or Sportbrake body style. Upgrades include new exterior features and interior accouterments, but sadly, the drivetrain has remained unaltered. Still, the R-Sport Black doesn’t represent a major cost increase over the standard R-Sport model, especially when you consider the minor price adjustment seen with this most recent refresh.
But the question remains- is it worth the money?
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Jaguar XF R-Sport Black.
2015 Jaguar XF R-Sport Black
Horsepower @ RPM:200
Torque @ RPM:330
0-60 time:8.6 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:140 mph (Est.)
Making a new variant stand out visually amongst its base-model brethren is important. How else will everyone know how much you spent? Usually, this task is accomplished in some obvious manner involving badges, pin striping, or oversized aerodynamics.
Thankfully, Jaguar eschews all these banal routes to visual distinction with exterior upgrades that are far subtler. Most prominent are the 20-inch Black Kalimnos alloy wheels, which fill the finely sculpted fenders with purpose and style.
Also standard is the “Black Pack”, which incorporates dark, glossy revisions to a few bits and pieces, such as the grille surround, lower bumper inserts, trunk-lid finisher, and roof rails on the Sportbrake model. Finally, the R-Sport Black will be offered in five no-cost paint options, including Italian Racing Red, Glacier White, Ultimate Black, and Stratus Grey. There will also be a limited edition Kyanite Blue, of which only 100 units will be produced.
These upgrades make for excellent additions to the overall look of the XF. With a design that was downright delicious beforehand, I’m glad Jaguar didn’t do something silly to muck it up.
The cabin on the XF was well appointed prior to this end-of-life refresh, but the R-Sport Black adds to it with improved technology, comfort, and entertainment.
First, all XF saloon and Sportbrake models are now equipped with the Parking Pack and Winter Comfort packages, which include front parking sensors and a rearward-facing camera in the former, plus a heated windscreen and heated seats in the latter.
There’s also a standard 770-watt Meridian Surround Sound stereo system to delight your ears, and full bond-grain leather upholstery slathered across 18-way adjustable Sport seats with memory function to coddle your backside.
These upgrades are in addition to other luxurious standard features, like dual-zone automatic climate control, a seven-inch color touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation with HDD mapping, and USB media interface.
Suffice to say, the interior of this Jag is a nice place to be, exuding all the opulence one would expect from a premium brand like Jaguar.
Very rarely does a manufacturer decide to tinker with the complicated mechanical bits under the skin of a car when creating an end-of-life variant, and the R-Sport Black is no different. Under the bonnet, you’ll find the same turbocharged, 2.2-liter, diesel power plant installed on the previous model, with about 200 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels.
Swapping gear ratios is an eight-speed automatic transmission, while Intelligent Start/Stop is in place to boost fuel economy. There’s also stability control, traction control, and the ability to switch into Sport and Winter driving modes.
While not exactly the most thrilling Jaguar seen to date, it’s a package that’s good enough for a run to 60 mph under nine seconds, and render a top speed around 140 mph. I know that hoping for more power is probably a waste of time with a model like the R-Sport Black, but with both the letter “R” and the word “Sport” placed in series right there in the name, it wouldn’t be completely out of line to bump output at least a little bit, right?
But regardless of what someone may want it to be, this Jaguar is still a slowpoke, and while it may bring a look and name that connotes a bit of performance intent, the end result is decidedly more boulevard cruiser than racetrack burner.
For interested buyers, the R-Sport Black saloon starts at £38,350 ($58,010, 1/21/15), with the Sportbrake model skipping ahead a little to a price tag of £40,850 ($61,847, 1/21/15). While there are a few optional packages left on the table, like adaptive lighting and a tow bar, odds are you’ll be quite satisfied with the standard features already present. And for this particular market segment, that asking price is a bargain.
When it comes to large, four-door, luxury titans, the BMW 5 Series often sets the standard. Featuring a huge array of engine and trim levels, from the lowly 528i, all the way up to the mighty M5, BMW likes to pretend there’s a model for anyone and everyone.
And the German automaker may very well be correct in that assertion. On the way up the 5 Series ladder, you’ll find the 535d Sedan for $57,525, the most obvious competitor to the R-Sport Black. With a turbocharged, six-cylinder diesel putting out 255 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels, the 535d can hit 60 mph in under six seconds, which is quite good for an oversized oil-burner. There’s also available all-wheel drive, should you find yourself in need of greater grip.
However, the biggest drawback you’ll get with the Bimmer is a complete lack of standard equipment. Just about everything is an option, and too much gusto can quickly rack up tens of thousands of dollars in extras. Still, if you want a quick, refined, luxury diesel four-door, the 5 Series is definitely worth a gander.
Audi is a company that’s infamous for glacial speeds when it comes to updating a vehicle line, but for good reason. Any car sporting the four-ring badge is usually fantastic in one way or another, and the A6 is no different.
As a successor to the Audi 100, the A6 was first introduced in 1994, and currently sits as representative of a fourth generation. There are a variety of engine options to choose from, but one of the best is the 240 horsepower, 428 pound-feet of torque provided by the turbocharged, V-6 diesel. Even though the car weighs well over two tons, 5.1 seconds is all that’s needed to reach 60 mph.
Buyers can choose between front-wheel drive or the iconic quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system. There’s an eight-speed automatic transmission, and high-levels of luxury stuffed into the cabin. It’s also remarkably safe, which rounds out all the necessary characteristics for a solid family-hauler. Prices for a TDI Quattro start at $58,395.
Jaguar did a good job in adding one final layer of gloss to the XF R-Sport with the new Black variant, both literally and metaphorically. The new equipment is definitely a welcome addition to the line before it’s axed in favor of the next generation later this year, and the vehicle is offered at a reasonable price as well.
But I’m still not convinced it’s worth picking up in advance of the new model. In truth, I’m probably just salty about the fact that Jaguar dares to call something the “R-Sport” when it can barely crack into the eight-second range for a 0-to-60 run. By comparison, the new XF is expected to be both lighter and more powerful than the current model, plus come with available all-wheel-drive, a larger interior, and a new nine-speed transmission.
Putting the rumors surrounding the upcoming 2016 XF to one side, the 2015 R-Sport Black is still a solid car. If you simply can’t wait to see what Jag has in store this April, then the R-Sport Black is here, practically bristling with goodies and standard features. I suggest the Sportbrake in blue.
Just don’t expect it to win any speed contests.